Too Bad Eugene is the first band (other than Arthur) to release a CD on the MxPx owned label, Rock City Recording Company. I recently had the chance to email this Santa Cruz, CA based band a few questions. Read on to find out what this fairly new band is all about.
Tom: For those of our readers not familiar with the band can you give us a little bit of an introduction. Your name and what instrument you play, as well as what other bands you may have previously been in? Also how long has the band been together, have you had any other releases and where are you based.
Too Bad Eugene is: Adam Nigh- Vocals/Bass, Sammy Nigh- Drums, Andy Snyder-Guitars/BGV's. Andy and Adam were both in Craig's Brother. Adam was also in the highly acclaimed Defekts and Yellow Snow, while Andy was in Liquid Amber. Sammy was a solo artist prior to being in Too Bad Eugene. The three of us have been together since October of 98. We released a four song demo titled "Sasparilla Liberation" in early 99, followed by our full length "At Any Rate" in October 00. We have also been on a compilation called "The Way It Should Be" on Sessions Records (song from "At Any Rate"). We are based in Santa Cruz, California.
Tom: If someone not familiar with your band asked you what you guys sound like how would you describe it?
Sammy: Rock 'n' Roll.
Adam: That's a tough question. You can't really describe music with words, but I would attempt just by saying we're a pop/rock band with some punk influences, and a bunch of other stuff. We kinda sound like Primus meets Yani, who just broke up with the Cranberries.
Tom: What are your feelings about being the first band (besides Arthur of course) on the MxPx run label, Rock City.
Adam: It's pretty rad, but it's also kind of tough. It's definitely an honor to be basically the first because that's something no one else can ever do, but it's also tough because everything is just getting started and not that many people know who we are so promotion is kind of a big deal.
Sammy: It's cool, but I agree with Adam that it's been challenging in that we're new at it and they're new at it. We're all kind of figuring this out as we go.
Tom: Do you feel being on Rock City will help you reach the audience that you are trying to reach?
Sammy: It definitely helps in the fact that the people who know MxPx will check out Rock City. By checking out Rock City, they'll link on to our website. A lot of people are realizing that Mike produced our record and did some back-up vocals, which increases the interest in the CD.
Adam: It definitely doesn't hurt. They have a very large following and it is reasonable to assume that a large portion of MxPx fans could potentially dig our CD so that connection is pretty helpful.
Tom: Now from what I can remember this album was recorded quite a while back. Why the hold-up on the release and is the material on this new album already outdated?
Andy: Those songs are pretty old.
Adam: Yeah, that was kind of a bummer. There really is no way to list all of the tons of reasons the thing got pushed back as much as it did. Most of the songs on the CD are around two years old or older, so you can say pretty safely that they are old news to us. We've written a lot of new material that we are really excited about. We play mostly stuff from the CD when we play live, but we interject a couple of those new songs just to make it fun for us.
"At Any Rate"
Sammy: The hold up for us was a downer because we got to play some pretty big shows, including dates on the Warped Tour, and we didn't have the CD to sell to get our name out there more.
Tom: What are your plans for the band over the next few months? Any tour plans?
Sammy: We're hoping to get some dates on the Warped Tour again. We're booked for Tom Fest and then we're hoping to play some other California shows as well.
Adam: Given all of our family, work, and school commitments, we can't do any major touring, so we just try to do whatever we can as far as festivals and shows we can drive to in a reasonable time period.
Tom: What are your feelings on Christians and the arts? From what I hear you guys have a few issues with the whole "Christian" and "secular" division with-in music. What are some of your thoughts on all this?
Adam: I very much support Christians taking part in their surrounding culture, as long as it doesn't directly conflict with their spiritual life. I see no real need to have the "Christian" and "secular" categories in theory, but considering the pervasive worldliness of most popular music in recent times, I guess I understand why the current system exists. However, much "Christian" music is not spiritual, and much "secular" music is not evil. I think we need to start having a higher view of the arts. We as a band want to be a part of both sides of the divide and help to blur the lines between them.
Sammy: I don't have any issues with a division between "Christian" or "secular" music. We play shows with "Christian" bands and we play shows with "secular" bands. We just want people to hear our music and enjoy it.
Andy: Being in a band of professed Christians definitely has its responsibilities. For a long time, both me and Adam thought the right thing to do was to silently boycott the "Christian" music scene because of the corruption we witnessed in it while touring with Craig's Brother. Since then, after a lot of thought and prayer, we both felt the conviction to actively take part in fixing the problems we have with the scene.
Tom: What would you say your music is to you? Besides being a way to entertain, etc.
Sammy: Our music is a way for us to get our views/thoughts across in a format that in most cases is not threatening. Without a doubt it is also a lot of fun.
Andy: It gives me a chance to show off in front of kids that are 10 years younger than me.
Adam: Music used to be my life aspiration. All I wanted to do was be in a successful band. However, at this point in my life, my life is refocused on to other stuff. Now, music is basically a way to release creative energy. It's a major part of my life, but it's not the main thing any more.
Tom: If you could tell someone about a band that not many people know about, who would it be?
Sammy: Hoodoo Gurus were a band from Australia that played really cool rock and roll. They had an energy that was really fun and most of their songs were about things like kamikazee pilots, etc. I still have all their tapes.
Adam: For me, it would have to be the Descendents. I know a lot of people know who they are, but there are a ton of kids who listen to nothing but pop/punk and have no idea of who the original pop/punk band is. Every kid that listens to that kind of music should definitely own all of the Descendents early albums, or if you can't afford that, just buy Summary. You miss a lot of good stuff, but you get the basics.
Andy: There's this little unknown band out of Liverpool called the Beatles. I really think they're gonna catch on soon.
Tom: Who would you consider the top 3 most influential bands of the 90's. Not just for punk rock specifically, but overall. What bands do you think were the most influential in that they paved the way for some of the bands of today.
Adam: U2, NOFX, and Hootie and the Blowfish.
Andy: Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, and MxPx.
Sammy: Green Day, Bad Religion, and Too Bad Eugene.
Tom: Where can people pick up your CD. Does Rock City currently have any distribution deals to get your CD's into stores across the U.S.?
Adam, Andy, and Sammy: You can get our CD online at www.mxpx.com and at two or three stores in Santa Cruz.
Tom: If you had one message you could bring to the readers of Decapolis.com what would it be?
Adam: God, from all eternity, did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established (Westminster Confession).
Andy: Buy our record, if you can find it.
Sammy: I'm Sammy.
Tom: Other than being a member of Too Bad Eugene what other interests/jobs do you have?
Andy: I wrap meat and go to college.
Adam: I am pursuing theology as a profession. I'm a little over a year away from my BA in Biblical and Theological studies, and then I start my MA in exegetical theology at Western Seminary. After that, my plan is to do a Ph.D. at Fuller Seminary in philosophical theology.
Sammy: Duh, I'm Sammy. (note: Sammy works in International sales at Fox Motorcross.)
Tom: Thanks for your time.
Too Bad Eugene: No, thank you.
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